After a few week hiatus, I met back up with one of the girls I’ve been walking closely with, excited to hear about how she has been, how her thanksgiving was, how she’s processing it all. She came to me discouraged, looking back at the mountain top she was on, wondering why she’s stuck in what feels like a valley. She’s fully aware of the many ways she continues to mess up, continues to sin, continues to struggle. What happened to the times when it was easy, when grace was quick to hold on to?

An awareness of our sinfulness can be absolutely devastating. Of course, left to ourselves, we would be right to despair. Yet, in the way that the gospel simply does, an awareness of even sin can be flipped on it’s head. As I am more and more aware of my sin, especially in light of a growing awareness of God’s holiness, I see a desperate need for Christ to be even greater. My sin can be changed from something so incredibly damning into something that draws me back into the loving arms of Jesus, His sacrifice ever on my mind as the only thing that saves this life. The chasm of our sinfulness in light of God's holiness is only filled by the totality of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
and sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
lose all their guilty stains.
— William Cowper

All I have to offer Christ is my need, which is all of myself.

I’ve known need quite well these past few months. I have labored in prayer, sometimes simply begging the Spirit to intercede with His words as I felt mine lacking. In the words of a friend, I have put out many fleeces, wanting to not be inactive in discerning where He would have me go next. I’ve known the valley, I’ve known the wilderness, I’ve felt the heat of the desert sand on these bare feet. I am not silly enough to think that I won’t be back in that place in some time, and yet, here I look at what has felt like a long season of winding roads to finally a steady climb of simple trust.

My friend has just recently felt this sting of rejection from those he loves, from those he trusted, from those he thought would come through for him. It was all I could do to throw empathy out the window and with tears in my eyes shout how good the grace of Christ has been in this winter, this waiting, this longing.

He has truly been abundantly kind, even on the days I had scales locked on to these eyelids of mine, blinding me to his generosity that shines and blooms in the coldest of nights.

Grace grows best in winter.
— Samuel Rutherford

I’ve known need quite well these past few months. The Lord has met me in every single need. He has shown himself to be the meaning of abundance, the source and wellspring of life, the coverer of my guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, sadness, and grief. This abundance has left me dripping in offering up gratitude, accepting each day and moment for what it is, and welcoming with open hands whatever may be knowing it is His good grace.

He is the abundant.

I couldn’t have planned what my life has looked like in this season, nor will I attempt to try in the next, but in all of this, Christ has and will meet every need of mine in His generous abundance, regardless of whether or not I have eyes to see.

With open hands, I pray, that we would all lean in to the beauty of the deaths of winter, the groanings of advent, and the meaning of true abundance in the life, death, and resurrection of our faithful and kind Savior. Give Him your need, He will meet you, and He will lift your head.